After our homes, the next biggest valuable most people have is their car. Whether it's a top of the range pride and joy or an old runaround, our motors are special.
And it's not just the car itself. We keep baby buggies, carseats, paperwork and other important stuff in them that we dont want to lose. Social media in the morning is often a sorry stream of people that have woken up to an empty driveway. Here's how to protect yours!
It's a rare ride that only has a manual lock these days. But keyfob locks can be jammed by electronic devices. And it's easy to think you've pressed the button before swapping to the front door key and settling down at home - but did you really?
Keyless entry cars are being stolen at an alarming rate. Always keep your keys out of sight, away from windows and doors where they could be fished out. To stop someone from cloning your signal get a Faraday bag to put them in when you're at home. It's like an invisibility cloak against scanners.
It's also dangerous to rely on self locking. The few seconds it takes to activate is all a sneaky thief needs to slightly open a door or boot and gain access as soon as you're out of sight.
Always lift the handle. Take a second to check before you walk away. It's not as convenient as just pressing a button but then, neither is having your motor pinched...
Nobody likes leaving a warm house on a freezing cold morning. So it seems sensible to warm the car up and de-ice the windows to make it a bit more bearable.
Unless your vehicle has a special, secure warm-up program, don't do this! Car thieves don thier hoodies and go looking for these easy pickings. Worse still, if it's found that you left your vehicle unattended with the engine running, your insurance will be void. Which leaves you with no car and no money to replace it.
Take a nice hot cuppa and sit in the car while you warm it up for your commute or school run.
It's not just about what not to do. There are also things you can put in place.
Steering wheel and gear stick locks aim to disable the workings of the car. If anyone breaks into it they can steal items from inside but hopefully not the vehicle itself.
Sadly a lot of these can be easily bypassed or broken through so you need to be careful when selecting your lock. Essex Police say:
Bear in mind that built-in steering locks aren’t necessarily thief-proof. Many can be forced and broken. Fitting a Sold Secure steering wheel, gear lever or clutch pedal security device can give your vehicle added protection.
Some people even use wheel clamps, like those used by parking enforcers. It's certainly a very visible deterrent. However, a seasoned car thief can often remove them and you may open your curtains in the morning to find the clamp in bits on your empty drive.
For business and commercial premises, a parking barrier can be useful to stop thieves escaping with cars that aren't theirs. But what about at home?
One of the most secure things you can put in place to protect your car is to install one or more bollards. Tried and trusted by car sales forecourts, these are small but really powerful!
You can buy them for the DIY market. However, like anything cheap, they are mass produced and don't offer the same level of protection. Bollard installation is also important and should be done by a qualified professional with industry standard knowledge and equipment. No point in you doing a weekend's work only to see someone has driven away in your car with a lump of concrete attached to it!
More convenient than a fence or railings, a good quality bollard sits in front of a vehicle and completely blocks it's movement. The strength of it means it can't be run over or manipulated out of the way. There's also no way of cutting through them easily so thieves don't bother to try.
Essex residents do love their motors. As a deterrent to a car thief, quality bollards can't be beaten. They can be manual or automatic so there's an option for all spaces and budgets.
We've been in security for many years and worked with homes, businesses and schools all over Essex. Our accreditations are your guarantee of the best service and equipment to protect your home and family. Get in touch today and discover how we can make protecting your car easy. All our advice and site surveys are completely FREE of charge!